Incinerators: Recycling

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 6th October 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Green

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of increasing waste incineration capacity on rates of recycling.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

In developing our Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS) the Government considered the amount of residual waste treatment capacity that will be required for England to avoid any negative impact on future recycling ambitions and the major waste reforms we are implementing. The assessment concluded that significant additional residual waste energy recovery capacity such as incineration or advanced conversion technologies – above that already operating or planned to 2020 – would not necessarily be needed to meet an ambition of no more than 10% municipal waste to landfill by 2035, if a 65% recycling rate is achieved by that same year. This assumed that refuse-derived fuel exports remain at 2018 levels. However, if energy recovery continues to provide a better environmental alternative to landfill, more investment to reduce tonnages of municipal waste to landfill further would deliver environmental benefits.

In accordance with the commitment given in the RWS we will continue to monitor residual waste infrastructure capacity.

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